All Mammograms Are Not Equal
After years of experience, the physicians, nurses and staff of the Crouse Breast Health Center observe that many women dread having a mammogram. For some, it’s the anticipation of any discomfort during the exam. For others, it’s the fear of what the mammogram may reveal.
To lessen the anxiety and apprehension of having routine mammograms and other diagnostic imaging or procedures, the Crouse Breast Health Center, recently named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), now offers women the services of three dedicated Breast Health Navigators.
The navigators wear many hats, but have one primary focus: to provide the best in patient care. Each comes with special credentials — and years of practice at Crouse and in the area of breast health. Margaret Bottino, RN,CCBE,CBPN-IC, has been with Crouse for 37 years, 11 of them at the Breast Health Center. Mary Butler, RN,CCBE,CBPN-IC, worked at Crouse Radiology Associates for 29 years and at the Crouse Breast Health Center for the past three years. Laura Rose, RN, BSN,CCBE, has been with Crouse for ten years and joined the center in January.
While they have provided navigation services for many years, Bottino and Butler completed the certification process to each become a Breast Imaging Navigator, Breast Cancer Navigator and Clinical Breast Examiner earlier this year. Rose is a certified Clinical Breast Examiner, and will complete the imaging and cancer certifications this September.
Clinical Care Combined with Emotional Support
When you visit the Crouse Breast Health Center, you get much more than a mammogram. In addition to the digital imaging test, women receive free clinical breast examinations and education on breast health and instruction on how to conduct their own self-exams. “Preventive measures such as regular self-exams and clinical breast examinations play a key role in detecting problems early,” says Bottino. According to the American Cancer Society, women age 40 and older should have a breast exam by a health professional every year, along with a screening mammogram annually as long as they're in good health.
The Crouse navigators also help women understand recommendations from radiologists for follow-up and communicate with referring physicians to expedite scheduling of diagnostic procedures, which they often assist with. While these clinical responsibilities are part of their training and role, the navigators take pride in the supportive nature of their positions. “We provide dedicated, individualized comfort, compassion and emotional support to women having regularly scheduled mammograms and those requiring additional testing,” says Butler. “It’s really the heart of what we do for our patients.”
All Breast Health Programs Aren't Created Equal
"Our focus is caring for the whole patient,” says Stephen Montgomery, MD, medical director of the breast health center, “not just administering an exam.” Besides the care of the Breast Health Navigators, Dr. Montgomery notes that radiologists for the Crouse Breast Health Center are dedicated exclusively to interpreting breast images. “Because of the high level of expertise of our radiologists, women can be assured of having accurate mammogram reads the first time, without needing to be recalled for further exams.”
Montgomery encourages women to select where they have their mammogram based not on mere convenience, but on the skill and expertise of the radiologists and clinical support staff. “Women want — and deserve — the best in breast health care, and should ask questions about who’s reading their mammograms,” he advises.
Breast Imaging Center of Excellence - Only at Crouse
The Breast Health Center at Crouse Hospital is the only breast imaging center in Syracuse to be named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the ACR. This designation recognizes the quality of every aspect of the center; demonstrates that the clinical staff significantly exceeds national standards of finding breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages; and signifies that the Crouse Breast Health Center meets the highest standards of the radiology profession.